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tv   Starting Point  CNN  October 29, 2012 4:00am-6:00am PDT

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there is a sailing ship floundering at sea. details on that coming up. >> and i'm rob marciano in asbury park, new jersey, where the center of this storm is expected to come ashore about 50 to 100 miles from here. winds and rains have picked up. blizzard warning and heavy snows we've got it all as hurricane sandy heads toward shore. >> with our reporters up and down the east coast able to cover this hurricane like nobody else can, it is october 29th. and you are watching our special coverage rolling live coverage of hurricane sandy. right now hurricane sandy -- right now hurricane sandy is a category 1 monster. it is 1,000 mile wide swath. it will affect some 50 million people from north carolina all the way to new england. it's predicted to smash into a cold front. and what that means, that it would create a superstorm. that's what they're calling it, a superstorm. it would sit on top of the
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eastern seaboard for days. expected to create dangerous storm surge, flooding, as well. cnn has hurricane sandy covered like no other network. we're talking with the delaware governor jack markell, new jersey mayor cory booker, craig fugate will be our guest. virginia governor bob mcdonnell. john berman is live in battery park, lower manhattan. expecting big storm surge there. rob marciano has the forecast but also is live in asbury park, new jersey. sandra endo is in ocean city in maryland. you've seen the deteriorating weather conditions there. george howell in kill devil hills, north carolina, on the outer banks. has for hours now. let's begin with rob marciano for the latest on what sandy is doing right now. when she is expected to make landfall, and how it will be all the way through. rob? >> good morning, again, soledad. the center of sandy is about 380
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miles southeast of -- of new york city. the wind field expanding. we've got 800 miles of tropical storm force winds that will be battering this coastline. and just in the last hour, winds and rain have picked up here along the jersey shore. satellite pictures showed you just how immense this storm system is. second only to hurricane olga. but tied now with the 1938 historic hurricane, the long island express, as far as barometric pressure goes. historic event unfolding already. the trag of this expected to make a left turn toward the delmarva, peninsula. making landfall later on tonight. as massive as this is, the affects are going to be felt as far north as the canadian border and far south as north georgia. the radars scraping the coastline have been heavy rains and wind across virginia beach and through washington, d.c. and certainly in through north carolina. some of the wind gusts, as you're seeing here, from as far north as new york city, into the 20s.
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atlantic city, seeing winds gusting over 30 miles an hour. and virginia beach seeing that, as well. speaking of winds, wind warnings, forget about the hurricanes, wind warnings extend from maine to as far west as columbus, ohio, to as far south as north georgia. and with that wind, in some cases, will be snow. cold air infused in this system, blizzard warnings are up for places in west virginia, could see snow over two feet in total. and blinding snows whipped by winds no doubt about that. here along the jersey coastline, massive evacuations along coastal communities here in monmouth county, and in asbury park. we've got a couple of thousand people that have been evacuated. two shelters have the capacity of 2,000 people. 600 people already in shelters. but most are in the homes of friends and families, just trying to wait out this storm. it will be a wait, soledad. we expect this to be a one to two-day event before things begin to wind down, and
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widespread power outages across northeast. we'll have people in the dark for days, if not weeks. when this storm is all said and done. soledad? >> rob marciano monitoring. thanks for us. thank you, rob. let's get right to ocean city in maryland. where sandra endo has been watching things for the last 24 hours. sandra, good morning. >> good morning, soledad. we've felt constant, steady rain, and a steady wind at about 30 miles per hour here with wind gusts reaching up to 55 miles per hour at some points. and as it gets lighter you can start seeing the situation here, which is not high tide yet but you can tell those rough waves out there, those waves are fierce. and they're toppling over this protective sand dune at times, and they're starting to be flooding around the coastal property areas here. you can see it's about 100 yards from where the water line is to where the property starts here in ocean city. and that's a big concern for local residents, and local authorities here. they are going to be watching
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that coastal surge, the storm surge, and the tidal surge, as hurricane sandy starts pounding this area later on this evening. soledad? >> sandra endo for us this morning. thank you for that update. let's get right to george howell in kill devil hills. nice to talk to you. how's it looking where you are, george? >> soledad, where sandra is starting to see those winds, winds 50 miles an hour plus, we are seeing less wind here, after what has been a three-day event. we've seen the strong winds, we've seen sideways rain. this area has really been under the gun for several days. and the problem now, they're keeping a very close eye on two things. number one the storm surge. you can't really see it right now but when you look at the atlantic, it is very high covering the beach that was there. they're concerned about a storm surge, soledad, anywhere from 4 to 6 feet on this area where we are. and further south along the outer banks could get up to seven feet. on the other side of the outer banks, the sound side, they're worried about flooding, as the
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winds continue to shift out here. they're worried about pushing water in different places. three to five feet of flooding, a possibility there. also want to talk about what's happening out at sea. about 90 miles from where we are, about 160 miles from the eye of the storm, there is a shipping -- rather a sailing ship out there with 17 people on board. it's the same ship that was used in the movie "pirates of the caribbean." 17 souls on board. u.s. coast guard doing its best to get out there, to get people off that ship. this is a ship that lost propulsion, not able to go, at the mercy of the sea just floundering right now. definitely a bad situation that they're trying to deal with. >> oh, my gosh. sounds absolutely horrible. george howell updating us on what's happening on the outer banks. here in new york city, everything's shut down. we haven't seen the inclement weather that we saw in ocean city and maryland, but we are expecting it to come our way. but they've shut down the subways. they've shut down the buses. they've shut down the schools.
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central park, they kicked everybody out at 5:00 last night. john berman is a little bit south of me, in battery park city, where they are predicting a severe storm surge. tell me a little bit of what they're expecting where you are in the evacuation zone. >> soledad, this is the evacuation zone. battery park, also staten island, areas in brooklyn and queens as well. they're concerned a storm surge from six to eleven feet high. that's a full two feet higher than it was during hurricane irene which do cause some minor flooding in this area. they're concerned this could cause major flooding. there was a study out of columbia university that said had hurricane irene been one foot worse it could have caused an additional $50 billion in damage. the fear here is that if the water comes up over this seawall, which is right here next to me, it could flood the subway tunnels, even the electrical grid here. mayor michael bloomberg said he's considering shutting down two electrical networks in lower manhattan. that would shut down power to
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some 17,000 people but it could quickly get much, much higher than that. as the day continues we're expecting this storm surge to grow. high tide is about 8:50 tonight. there's a full moon so it's an even higher tide than usual. if that storm surge of six to eleven feet hits right at that bad moment, that is what concerns them most, soledad. >> of course, john, it's cold! usually when we cover these hurricanes it's much warmer. but if they lose power, as many people are predicting, 10 million people up along the east coast could lose power, you're talking about 30 degree temperatures with no power that will make a bad situation brutal for some folks. >> that's exactly right. you have that problem particularly in the suburbs here, too, where they may not get the storm surge and flooding but the wind could cause so many trees to fall down. with hurricane irene in connecticut and areas around here they had about a week without power. that goes on for a very long time. you start to feel that in the colder weather. >> john berman in lower manhattan. let's get right to zoraida
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sambolin who's got a look at some of the other headlines regarding the storm. zoraida, good morning. >> good morning to you. we're going to start with breaking news this morning. we just learned that president obama has canceled his event in orlando today. white house press secretary jay carney released this statement. quote, due to deteriorating weather conditions in the washington area, the president will not attend today's campaign event in orlando. the president will return to the white house to monitor the preparations for and early response to hurricane sandy. and nearly half of a million people have been evacuated from homes in low-lying areas up and down the east coast. in new york, where forecasters say an 11-foot storm surge could cause catastrophic damage tonight, and into tomorrow, mass transit is shut down along with wall street, and public schools, as well. in new jersey, and philadelphia, shelters have been opened. and thousands of cots are being prepared for all of the evacuees. the oncoming storm also causing airlines to cancel more than
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7,000 flights in the northeast alone. that's triggering delays across the country, with the ripple effect hitting travelers as far away as paris, soledad. can you believe that? >> i believe it. because, the conditions continue to deteriorate, you can imagine things are just going to go to a full-on stop until this storm passes. unfortunately it's a very slow-moving storm so it is reportedly going to just sit over the east coast once it makes handfall and sit there for hours upon hours. zoraida, thank you for that update. here in new york city it's begun to rain a little bit, just slightly. up till now it's been pretty clear, cold but clear. we're going to continue to monitor what happens here in new york, as well. coming up this morning we're going to talk to delaware governor jack markell is our guest. and newark, new jersey mayor cory booker will talk to us about what they're doing there. that's straight ahead in this special edition of "starting point" as we monitor what is happening with hurricane sandy. [ female announcer ] today, jason is here to volunteer to help those in need. when a twinge of back pain surprises him.
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welcome back, everybody. live picks from ocean city in maryland. you can see the big waves and a steady rainfall. it's where our reporter sandra endo has been reporting for the last 24 hours. and conditions have been deteriorating there. want to get to christine romans this morning because, of course, big financial news is what's not happening today. christine, good morning. >> good morning again. you know, no trading of gm or google today. stock markets are closed. the nasdaq and new york stock exchange will shut down because of this storm. the nyse hasn't been closed for weather since hurricane gloria in 1985. the bond market will close early today at noon eastern. some 284,000 homes are in the path of this huge storm. 87 billion dollars in home at risk because of storm surge alone. protecting all that property meant a rush for retailers this weekend, selling flashlights, flywood, food, water. now the retailers are shutting their doors in the northeast and mid-atlantic and insurance
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companies are preparing for the claims about to come. quick reminder about your homeowners insurance. you want to check, soledad. you want to check and see what your coverage is. make sure you slide all of your paperwork in a ziplock bag and keep that with you. next couple of days will be crucial. >> very smart to do that now when it's not an emergency yet and you're holed up at home anyway. let's get to newark new jersey mayor cory booker. he comes on our show a fair amount. going to update with him what's happening in this city. good morning, mayor booker. thanks for talking with us. what are your biggest concerns right now, sir? >> my biggest concern is people not taking it seriously and not taking the proper precautions. we still have some time here for people to prepare, get ready, to move out of low-lying areas, if necessary. to stay with other folks and to prepare not only for the storm to hit, but we anticipate there could be many days without power afterwards. >> you know what's interesting, i think, when we had hurricane
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irene come through there are many people because it packed a wallop. but only for specific communities. many of us got off without any damage at all and there was a lot of notice about it. and i think people, i worry, that people may sort of be inured to any issued. do you think people are not taking these warnings seriously? i mean this is a much different storm than irene. >> i think frankly people, me, like yourself, and a lot of the leaders around the region, have been doing a good job in trying to communicate to people how this is a different storm. it's going to have a different kind of impact. so i was around -- riding around until late last night seeing people really feeling understandably scared. that's actually a good thing that people, you know, feel the fear of this coming -- or doing the appropriate things. it's very necessary. so i think people are getting the message. in our city i see a lot of people doing the right thing. i have to just say, give a lot of credit to folks the thing that inspires me most is seeing
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how people are helping people. checking in on seniors. delivering supplies. this is the time that we pull together, no matter how hard the storm blows, it doesn't beat us if we're standing strong and standing to the. >> i have to say i'm a little anxious. i've covered a lot of these hurricanes but i've got my kids in the apartment and they're anxious. reading all these reports, they're, they're quite, they're quite dire they don't call storms epic, you know, by the willy-nilly if you will. you use twitter a lot. i follow you on twitter. what's your strategy for tweeting during this storm? because you're the kind of guy who actually gets out a lot of information and responds to a lot of emergencies via twitter. >> first and foremost making sure that people know what's happening. from closure information to evacuation information. whatever it is i push it out a lot. second thing i want to make sure is i'm engaging with people. if i get a question on my twitter feed i always assume it's a question probably represented by a lot of folks. so engagement.
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and then the final thing for me always to look for is people that need help, so that i or emergency personnel can help them out. so it's a great medium in a crisis, and it's something that i'm on really around the clock. >> all right. governor cory booker joining us, he's the governor of newark -- i just promoted you yet again. mayor cory booker. i do that a lot. mayor cory booker from newark, new jersey, joining us by phone this morning talking a little bit about the preparations there in his city. and of course, in the state as well. we've been showing you some of the pictures there. it's new jersey that is expected to get the landfall for this storm. and it's a big, massive, superstorm. we're continuing to monitor what happens in the hours between now and when that storm makes landfall. coming up in just a moment we're going to take you to delaware, talk to delaware governor jack markell with what he's doing in his state. we're back right after this. ate.
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welcome back to "starting point," i'm zoraida sambolin. we're following hurricane sandy all morning for you. first here's a quick look at the rest of our top stories. we're going to begin here with breaking news. the storm has just forced president obama to cancel a campaign event this morning in orlando. he flew in last night but due to deteriorating weather conditions in washington, d.c., he will return right away to the white house to monitor the storm. and both mitt romney and president obama had already canceled campaign stops in virginia, as well. for the first time in 40 years, the des moines register has endorsed a republican for president. the newspaper's editorial board admitting it struggled with its decision, ultimately deciding on mitt romney because he, quote,
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offers a fresh economic vision. the registered board goes on to say, voters should give mitt romney a chance to correct the nation's fiscal course, and to implode the partisan gridlock that has shackled washington and the rest of america. and early voting is under way in a lot of states, but in maryland it has been canceled, for today at least, due to the hurricane. virginia's governor said his state will do what it can to make sure that voters can get to the polls, despite sandy's impact. which may include power outages. and it is a great day to be a giants fan. san francisco beat the detroit tigers last night to complete a four-game world series sweep. it's their second title in three years. pablo sand val was the series mvp. the city will honor the champs with a ticker tape parade scheduled for wednesday. >> all right, zoraida. thank you very much. always love when the guys jump on each other. >> it's exciting.
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>> thanks, appreciate it. want to get to delaware. and delaware governor jack markell, who can update us on what's happening in his state. good morning, governor. nice to talk to you. why don't you walk me through what your biggest concerns are for your residents? >> the biggest concerns, the rain, and the winds together, make driving conditions absolutely miserable. so we've put in a driving restriction today. also, concerns because the storm is so long-lasting we're concerned that people could be without power for some period of time. >> are you finding that people are actually heeding the evacuation orders? or i should say heeding the warnings? >> i -- and those -- well there were evacuation orders that ended at 8:00 last night for some of our coastal areas and we appreciate those who did. those who did not, we're afraid may find themselves cut off. but, there's not much we can do about that now. the main thing now is for people to realize, there are significant driving restrictions in place. and one of the reasons we did that is conditions are going to
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get worse and worse. we didn't want people to go to work today and then have to drive home or through really bad conditions or not get home at all. >> do you have numbers on how many people are in shelters? sometimes people don't even take a storm itself seriously but it sounds as if many people in your are. what about folks moving into shelters? >> so we have, obviously, a small state, we have seven shelters. 500 people last night. we expect a lot more during the course of the day, because the, you know, the conditions are going to get so much worse during the day. we're ready with the shelters. we've got a great emergency response community in delaware, working for many days to prepare for this. but at the end of the day, people really need to take a lot of responsibility for themselves, as well. >> we're looking at you, also looking at this satellite loop of this storm. which is 1,000 miles wide. just massive. have you ever, you know, in all the years that you've been through emergencies like this, have you ever seen anything like this? >> no, i haven't. but i was down at the beach
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yesterday, down in rehoboth beach in lewis, and it seemed yesterday, as though it has seemed in previous storms where it was the height of the storm, and it was hundreds of miles away. so we can just imagine what it's going to be like today and tonight and tomorrow as the storm makes landfall, and, you know, so it's a very significant event. very grateful to all the members of the emergency response community in delaware who are working so hard. >> delaware governor jack markell joining us this morning. thank you for talking with us. i know you're swamped. so we appreciate your time. >> thanks, soledad. coming up next, we'll take you to virginia and the virginia governor bob mcdonnell will join us with an update of what he is doing in his state. that's straight ahead. we are obviously monitoring what hurricane sandy is doing with our live rolling coverage. customer erin swenson bought from us online today.
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good morning, welcome, everybody. you're watching "starting point." today we are focused on our special coverage of hurricane sandy as it is scheduled to make landfall in new jersey sometime this evening. it is being called an epic storm and it's churning nearly 1,000 miles wide. hurricane force winds extending 175 miles from the eye. we're being told there is potential for widespread catastrophe, and for damage. schools are closed. subways closed. up and down the east coast, in washington, d.c., in philadelphia, and in new york, they're closed. 7500 flights have been canceled already with the major carriers shutting down service here in new york. causing, of course, delays all around the country. and even as far away as paris, france. sandy is expected, as i
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mentioned, to make landfall in southern new jersey. either late today or sometime early tomorrow morning. more than 450,000 people up and down the east coast have already been evacuated. we have corresponds covering this story all up and down the coast. john berman is live in battery park city in lower manhattan. san ra endo is in ocean city in maryland. george howell is in kill devil hills for us in north carolina. rob marciano in asbury park, new jersey. he's also got an update on the storm. rob, let's start with you. >> good morning, soledad. the winds and the rain have picked up and certainly the outer limits of hurricane sandy beginning to reach north towards the metropolitan area and the tristate new york, new jersey and connecticut. you mentioned that the winds have strengthened with sandy now 85-mile-per-hour wind. let's go over the stats and bring you through the forecast. the wind field, still extraordinarily large, over 40-mile-per-hour winds extend
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900 miles across. so we're going to see some damage from this in the way of power outages across hundreds of miles of real estate. as far as the wind, and the radar is concerned, a lot of rain has been pouring across southern jersey, across the delmarva, certainly across parts of virginia, and the carolinas. and wind with this also has been gusting in places like virginia beach, atlantic city, and up through -- and new york city, as well. winds have been gusting to over 30 miles an hour. that's all visual usually there for you. wind warnings extend as far north as maine, as far south as north jersey and as far west as columbus, ohio. it's hard to describe to you just how large this system is, and how far inland it is going to affect people. so this is -- this has far reaches beyond just what a hurricane, including a blizzard warnings that are out. preps are up and down are going on up and down the jersey coastline. thousands have evacuated from coastal communities and yesterday governor chris
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christie, who is certainly a straight talker, had these dire words of advice for his constituents. >> we want everybody to stay off the roads. again, you know, we can't emphasize this enough, don't try to go out there and be hero or act as if there's nothing going on here. something is happening. it's important. and we need to have you stay inside. >> so that's important advice because even if you don't live along the coastline the winds are going to be such that trees are going to come down. if you live in an area that has a lot of trees stay indoors and get down from the upper areas of your home to a lower entire yore room, and even sky scrapers, you know, soledad. you go up 30 floors in elevation, and that increases the winds by one category in hurricane strength. you're going to be feeling it across the high rises of manhattan, not to mention at the lower levels the storm surge is going to be of historic proportions. likely to be greater than irene.
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high tide across many of the beaches, communities, happening in the next couple of hours. and again tonight timing out with the landfall of hurricane sandy, just to the south of us, probably around 8:00, 9:00, 10:00 this morning. >> rob, before i let you go. winds now at 85 miles an hour. i'm in midtown manhattan. what kind of damage can winds like that do? obviously can knock down trees. i see scaffolding all around us obviously. you talked about sky scrapers. people are not being evacuated out of the tallest skyscrapers. i know the empire state building many years ago, i think back in the 1930s, was actually swaying in one of the hurricanes, right? >> yeah, soledad the buildings are designed to sway. the windows are reinforced and built to sustain serious wind. there's going to be weaknesses. you mentioned scaffolding. that stuff is built to code hopefully. but some of that could easily come down when you talk about winds. then the can ons, especially
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across lower manhattan. the wins can accelerate through some of the tighter streets and it's hard to predict how strong those winds will get. much, much worse than hurricane irene and it will stretch much farther inland for folks, i mean even chicago they're going to feel it in the form of wind and big waves across lake michigan. going to be something like i haven't seen in my lifetime and a lot of folks across the northeast will echo those thoughts before it's all done. >> rob marciano for us. appreciate the update. let's get right to richard knabb with the national hurricane center. rob talked about how this storm is headed inland, and how unusual that is. why is it heading inland? normally they, they head out, right? >> well, this time of year, it's not typical to see a system like this, hurricane approaching the mid-atlantic coast from the southeast. but that's what we've got. and not only is it going to be moving inland, around a trough
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of low pressure pulling it in, but it's going to slow down and start to merge with that big low over land, and so it's going to be a very prolonged event. i really don't like it when i see a large system that is expected to move slowly, once it strikes land, because that means a prolonged duration of wind and rain, and a larger system like this, certainly more prone to being able to create the storm surge from the ocean that we're going to see. starting later today and tonight. >> richard, a superstorm. i know some of that is because it's going to connect up with two other storms really just making it massive. you talked about the size. 1,000 miles. what kind of damage can that do? and when will see start really seeing the effects alone the coast a little farther up north? we've shown some of the southern states. >> well, you know, the damage is going to be caused locally by the wind. and the wind pushing the water. and the rain falling from the
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sky. the size of the storm, what that does is make it a more prolific storm surge, producer, and for those conditions that anyone spots to last a longer period of time. and this does have a wintertime component to it with the snowfall that's going to be seen in places like the mountainous areas of west virginia. so the large size and the fact that it's going to be making this transition to a post-tropical system, more of a wintertime low, just complicates the set of hazards that are going to be expected. and the large size just means a lot of people are going to be affected. and for a long period of time. so once the weather starts going downhill, which it's starting to do in the mid-atlantic coast and all the way up to southern new england, it's going to get worse as the day goes on. once the weather gets bad it's going to stay that way for a couple days. maybe even a little bit longer, but it's going to take awhile for this to make that turn and move north. it's going to be a long duration event and whatever emergency managers are telling folks to do, that includes just staying off the roads, do that.
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because being outdoors or being in dangerous places that you should have been evacuated from, that's how people get in trouble and get injured or killed. >> richard knabb, seems like at least from the governors who i've spoken to, people are actually heeding the warnings, they understand that this is a serious, serious storm. thanks for the update, we'll continue to check in with you. craig fugate is the head of fema. appreciate your time this morning because i know you're really busy. first of all, tell me a little bit about the relief supplies that you have staggered. i know normally you sort of position them and then you move them in to where they're needed. but as mr. nba just pointed out to us and rob marciano before it's such a wide storm, is that compromising your ability to get close to where you might need to some emergency supplies? >> well, what we did was we sent stuff throughout the region. we began moving generators and water and all kinds of supplies back and friday, saturday, getting them in yesterday, so we're moving stuff. we've also got to remember the
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private sector is not idle either. they're doing everything to get their stores back open. we have been moving things from outside the area, basically from the carolinas all the way up into the new england states. and as inland as, you know, the west virginia with the blizzard there. pennsylvania, from flooding. so we've been moving stuff. now is time as rick said, people need to be safe so we can get to recovery next. >> walk me through if you haven't evacuated and you are thinking about evacuating or maybe even you don't necessarily have to evacuate but you want to get out of town for example you're in new york city, what should people take so that when if they have damage they're much better position to be able to recover? what would you advice them to grab on their way out? >> pass ports, birth certificates, your driver's license, your checkbook, all of your insurance papers. basically, the stuff you would need to be able to get back or get with your insurance adjuster, and get those assistance going. but take all your important papers. the things you can't replace or are difficult to replace, put them in a ziploc bag or
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something safe, keep them dry, take them with you. >> they keep calling this a superstorm, once in a lifetime storm. i don't get the sense that people are exaggerating this. do you feel that people are, are heeding the message, about how dangerous, how risky this storm could be up and down the east coast? >> yeah, i think so. but again, as you talk about this, you try to describe what's going to happen, it's hard to personalize this to everybody. i think that's why the weather service, the local forecast offices are doing a good job trying to tell people what the impacts are going to be. you look at this big system. doesn't always tell me what it's going to do with my house. but the weather service local forecast offices are really trying to get those products out to tell people what to expect in their community. >> craig fugate with fema. thank you, sir. i have a feeling we'll be talking to the a lot over the next many days. we appreciate your time this morning. let's take a look at how it's looking in the state of virginia. governor bob mcdonnell is there with an update for us. we appreciate your time. what are you most concerned about this morning? >> thanks, soledad.
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well it's the sustained winds and rain, and coastal flooding. followed by cold temperatures. we actually have a blizzard warning in western and southwest virginia, and it's snowing now out there, soledad. and that's going to continue for a couple days. but it's downed power lines from the high wind and probably over 1 million people without power would be our estimate right now. but fortunately we're prepared. the state, local folks and federal folks working very well to the. and so far, there's no fatalities and people are heeding the mandatory evacuation warnings in certain coastal areas, so it's going okay. >> what are your power utility folks doing? i know some have been prepositioning people from out of state like new mexico and getting them in so that when they're finally able to get in to do repairs, they're positioned to do repairs. >> well, i declared a state of emergency, soledad, on friday morning and so we've had extra national guard called up. extra state police. we've asked for 2,000 additional
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utility employees from other states. they're cooperating, and either here or on the way. and so, because of the massive power outages that we expect i think we're going to be positioned to get those people up to speed pretty quickly. but you know, it's all about downed trees and downed power lines, and their coastal area that's our major concern. today's going to be the worst impact. even though the coast has been hit now for two days, most of virginia is going to be hit today and into the morning. >> it's interesting, as they always talk about more people are injured actually when things calm down in the storm because they don't realize it's really being hit by a tree, or a power line that you think is safe that's not. that really ends up killing you. do you think people are taking the warning seriously? you know out here we had hurricane irene and it wasn't as bad as it was predicted. certainly in this area. some areas got hit really hard. in new york city it was not as bad and i worry that some people think last time they told us to evacuate, and we really didn't
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have to. and this time maybe we shouldn't. >> you know that's always a challenge. we live in a coastal state like virginia. we're pretty used to these warnings, but this is a unique storm, because of its breadth, and the tropical storm force winds extending so far out. and followed by a cold front ee crating those dangerous conditions afterwards is unique. the mandatory evacuations and low-lying areas, people are heeding, i think we had plenty of run-up in the prep time. and people did what they needed to do. and everything we've heard from our local governments, they're working well. shelters are open, and people are staying off the roads. so all we're telling people right now soledad is be a good neighbor, keep your radios on, your transistor radios, listen to what's going on and help one another and we'll get through this just fine. >> i'm glad to hear that people are heeding those warnings. thank you for talking with us. >> okay. thanks, soledad. >> want to remind everybody if you want to send us pictures of what it looks like where you are
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go ahead and tweet them to us. @soledad o'brien. no apostrophe. or @startingptcnn. give us your name, obviously and what we're seeing where you are. we got to take a short break. when we come back in just a moment we're going to continue our rolling coverage of hurricane sandy. the rains lessened a little bit here in new york city. but other places down south not so fortunate at this hour. we'll check in with our reporters up and down the eastern seaboard when we're back. [ female announcer ] today, jason is here to volunteer to help those in need. when a twinge of back pain surprises him. morning starts in high spirits, but there's a growing pain in his lower back. as lines grow longer, his pain continues to linger. but after a long day of helping others, he gets some helpful advice. just two aleve have the strength to keep back pain away all day. today, jason chose aleve. just two pills for all day pain relief.
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welcome back, everybody,
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you're watching cnn's special coverage of hurricane sandy. you're looking at live pictures of virginia beach, virginia. take a look at those dramatic pictures. valor to evacuations under way in virginia beach. they're using some of the parking garages as shelters for folks. and they're saying time is running out as this storm is approaching. that people who are going to evacuate need to evacuate so they're not putting any raescues in additional danger. want to head now to sandra endo. reporting to us this morning from ocean city in maryland. this morning, and it looks like, sandra, things have cleared up from what i can see behind you. looks better. is it? >> actually, no, not at all, soledad. because let me show you what the problem is right here. beach erosion. you can see the massive waves, and this is a tidal surge, it's not even high tide yet. you can see where the fence has been washed away by these waves. and just yesterday we were standing on that beach. bit now, there's no beach left. and you can see how the waves are toppling over this
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protective sand dune, and coming in to this area. the water flooding this area here. even approaching some of the property lines going under the homes here in ocean city. and of course that's a big concern for residents and local authorities who are going to keep a watchful eye on this storm surge. on the high tide. and the full moon. creating a higher tide than normal. and that certainly is a big concern. you were mentioning it looks a little clearer. that's probably because the sun is coming up. but the rain has been coming down all day long for the last 24 hours. the wind gusts have certainly been shifting and changing. the temperature has dropped a bit. but clearly it's the personality of hurricane sandy, a little unpredictable. but already feeling the effects of it. but it's still hundreds of miles away. soledad? >> my goodness. for those homeowners, with that water coming right under their house already, as you point out at this time, when there's still a lot more time to pass before that storm comes, hits land. they have got to be very, very nervous. sandra endo for us this morning.
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thanks. it does look clearer. but sun coming up is what makes it look better. let's get right to george howell in kill devil hills which is on the outer banks of north carolina.morning, george. how's it looking where you are? >> reporter: soledad, good morning. the winds have died down a bit. the rain, that sideways rain that we saw the last two days really not happening now. conditions are getting a bit better here. but you look at what's happening out there on the atlantic. we've seen that storm surge rise. they're concerned about a storm surge anywhere from four to six feet. also want to talk about another story we're following. there is a ship out there that has been floundering at sea about 90 miles from where we are. about 160 miles from the eye of the storm. that is a replica ship. it was created for the" "mutiny on the bounty" and used for "pirates of the caribbean."
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it had 17 people onboard. lost propulsion. was at the mercy of the ocean. had waves out there, not able to move forward. we know the coast guard was able to get out there. all of the people abandoned ship. they are currently on lifeboats. that is some good news that we can report. we've been watching this very closely. again, that ship was just out there stranded and not able to move forward, soledad. >> my goodness. what a terrible situation for those people who are now heading -- it looks like heading into dry land from that ship. george howell for us in the outer banks reporting on what's happening there. thanks, george. appreciate it. one of the big elements of the story will be power outages. there are predictions that 10 million people, 10 million people along the east coast could, in fact, lose power once this storm hits. of course, with the tree branches taking out power lines, high winds as well could be responsible for that. ahead this morning we'll take a look at what con ed is doing not only to prepare here specifically in new york city, but also what to do in case
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there are needs for repairing all those power lines. we'll talk about those strategies straight ahead. you're watching our special coverage of hurricane sandy. we're back in a moment. but she loved it so much... i told her it was homemade. everyone tells a little white lie now and then. but now she wants my recipe [ clears his throat ] [ softly ] she's right behind me isn't she? [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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welcome back, everybody. as we cover what will be a devastating impact from hurricane sandy, we want to take a look at the potential loss of power for some 10 million people all along the eastern seaboard. alphonso keyross is with con edison which operating power for new york, new jersey and parts of pennsylvania as well. thank you for talking with us, sir. appreciate your time because i know you're very busy. first let's talk about new york if we can. we know mayor bloomberg was saying he may have to shut down power if the underground grid is
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potentially exposed because of some of the massive flooding that is predicted. what can you tell me about that? sfwl first of all we want to let you know con edison handles electric, gas and steam for new york city and westchester county. we don't handle pennsylvania or the other tristate areas. we're just new york city and westchester county. what we're looking at right now is that we're paying attention to a lot of the low lying areas such as lower manhattan. we're paying attention to how high the sea water is coming. you have to remember a lot of the electrical cables that feed new york city are underground. that kind of sea water can really damage those cables. >> my apologies for the error. what happens if, in fact, you have to shut it down? as they're predicting, downtown, i know you know, may be an 11-foot storm surge. walk me through the potential scenario here. >> sure thing. what we have is storm ride rs. they are either people or cameras or another type of monitoring device that we watch how high the water is coming near our equipment throughout
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new york city but especially those low lying areas. if the water gets too high, we will preemptively shut down some pieces of equipment. some maybe clustered together. because it is easier for us to make restoration once the water goes as opposed to just letting it burn out by itself and causing a fire. that would take much longer to restore. >> what's the impact if you have to shut down part of the power grid in the lower part of manhattan, for example? what does that mean literally? >> well, it could mean that there would be no power to parts of lower manhattan through wall street. battery park city. the tip of manhattan. and so that would basically mean that we would have to cut power to those areas if the water were to rise to a certain level on some of our facilities and some of our equipment. >> that's a decision that you would make once the storm has hit and the water begins to rise. you can monitor it that closely? >> that's exactly right. >> all right. we appreciate your time this
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morning, representative from con ed walking us through what the strategy would be if, in fact, they do have to shut down the grid in lower manhattan, saying it's, in fact, easier to try to fix it once the grid's shut down then the potential of fire or something happening if the grid isn't shut down and that area's flood flooded. we're going to take a short break. when we continue in a moment we'll continue tracking the path of hurricane sandy. you can take a look at some of these pictures from virginia beach, virginia. really dramatic pictures of what's happening there. they're encouraging people in a voluntary evacuation. more on the storm straight ahead. , gas, bloating? yeah. one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. approved! [ female announcer ] live the regular life. phillips'. [ female announcer ] live the regular life. ♪
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♪ we're lucky, it's not every day you find a companion as loyal as a subaru. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. and the candidate's speech is in pieces all over the district. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet.
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and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well. morning. welcome, everybody. a megastorm. that's what they're calling it. a megastorm hitting the east coast. it's called hurricane sandy. it's expected to make a landing along a 700-mile stretch of the most populated part of the east coast. i'm soledad o'brien. i'm coming to you live this morning from midtown manhattan right on the edge of central park as we watch the progress of park as we watch the progress of hurricane sandy. -- captions by vitac -- i'm rob marciano on the shores of new jersey. hurricane sandy is expected to
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make land fall later tonight. its effects will be reaching for hundreds of miles. live report coming up. i'm sandra endo in ocean city, maryland, where we're feeling the effects of hurricane sandy already. i'll have dramatic pictures coming up. i'm george howell on the outer banks of north carolina where we are monitoring a sailing ship that is currently floundering at sea with 15 souls onboard. details coming up. i'm john berman live in lower manhattan. this is the evacuation zone. expecting a storm surge here of 6 to 11 feet. it could come right up over this wall behind me threatening lives and livelihood. >> john berman and our entire team as we update you with what's happening with hurricane sandy. good news, the sun's come up. bad news, it's gotten a lot windier. we've had intermittent rain in new york city. we have seen pictures across the east coast of some devastating impact of hurricane sandy. we've got our special coverage this morning as we go to rolling
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coverage. it all begins right now. morning. welcome, everybody. looking at that picture right there, the satellite picture. that's a category 1 hurricane. hurricane sandy, nearly 1,000 miles wide. expected to impact 50 million people from north carolina all the way up into new england. it's also predicted to smash into a cold front. that's why people talk about this being a superstorm. also it is expected that it will sit on the eastern seaboard for days, creating dangerous storm surge and flooding conditions as well. cnn has hurricane sandy covered like no other network on tv. we're talking this morning with philadelphia's mayor, michael nutter, baltimore mayor vincent gray. norfolk mayor will join us. our correspondents, john berman is live in battery park city in lower manhattan. in ocean city, maryland, cnn's sandra endo is reporting for us.
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george howell in kill devil hills in north carolina. rob marciano is live in asbury park in new jersey. let's look at this storm and where it's headed. rob? >> reporter: good morning, soledad. you mentioned the extraordinary storm this is including the cold air. we don't often talk about windchills in a hurricane. right now it feels like it's in the 40s with the wind and cool air. over my right shoulder you see the extraordinary surf that's been pounding the shoreline here of eastern jersey for the past 12 hours. we're coming up on high tide once this morning, again later on tonight. that will coincide with the expected landfall. sandy has -- let's go over the statistics. 85 mile an hour winds now. milibar pressure has tied with the lowest that we've seen in history. that of 1938 and that historic hurricane, the long island express. already historic storm and a large one at that with winds extending over 800 miles for
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tropical storm force winds, hurricane force winds 200 miles. this is a beast. here is the track forecast. it hasn't changed. computer models have been spot on. this will continue to be the case. for hundreds of miles on either side of this track, the effects will be felt and felt widespread. radar is showing a lot of rainfall from south jersey, south towards the del mar, virginia, north carolina. the winds continue to gust and increase into the 30s now from virginia beach, atlantic city and up through near jersey as well. and the wind warnings are extended to maine back to -- as far west as columbus, ohio, and as far south as northern georgia to give you an idea just how expansive this storm system is. then the cold air, we've got not only winter storm warnings, but blizzard warnings that are posted for western parts of west virginia. here along the immediate shoreline, evacuations for all of coastal new jersey.
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650,000 people live in this county alone. we've got room for 2,000 people in shelters. most of those folks who have evacuated have gone to friends and family and certainly to higher ground. because storm surge here, 48 feet expected. then across long island sound, connecticut, potentially new york harbor and southern manhattan, upwards to 6 to as much as 11 feet expected. this will be worse than hurricane irene a little over 12 months ago. soledad. >> i would think much worse than hurricane irene. many people were able to dodge that bullet, rob. i hope they're taking this much more seriously, not having gotten complacent after what happened in hurricane irene. rob marciano updating us. thank you, rob. appreciate that. right to sandra endo in ocean city in maryland for us. where if you look at what the beach is doing which is basically eroding, things are getting very tough there. the storm's a fair way away, fair way out. sandra, what's the latest? >> reporter: yeah. actually, soledad, the conditions are actually getting more rough out here. the wind has certainly picked up.
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the temperature has dropped. take a look at the high tide right now. the waves are massive. and they are certainly crashing ashore. also the beach is eroding right before our eyes. you can see the fence here where it has just been swept away by the waves. that sand dune is gradually eroding as the waves crash on to it. just yesterday we were standing beyond that fence where a beach was. now it's completely covered with water. we are seeing flooding here and the water is approaching the property line. i guess you can see a property owner standing on his deck right there. i guess he's deciding to ride out the storm. clearly checking on his property. the water is approaching this line. it's about 100 yards from shore. but clearly the situation is worsening in the minutes. this is something residents here and officials are certainly going to keep a watchful eye on. they're definitely worried about the high tide, the full moon, and the lingering effect of
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hurricane sandy. soledad? >> ocean city, maryland. that's where sandra endo is for us this morning. thank you. appreciate that. right to george howell in kill devil hills, north carolina, in the outer banks. george, how is the -- how's the weather right now where you are? are you seeing it as sandra is deteriorating pretty fast around you? >> reporter: soledad, the wind gusts, they come and go. but not nearly as bad as what we saw yesterday and the day before that. it's been really a three-day event out here. the concern right now, it's about the storm surge out there on the atlantic. also about flooding on the sound side as wind directions change. also want to talk about something that's happening out there. i want to show you the atlantic. rough, rough waters. about 90 miles from where we are now and 160 miles from the eye of the storm, the hms bounty is out there. that is a replica sailing ship, three-masted sailing ship that was actually created for the movie "mutiny on the bounty" and also used in the movie "pirates of the caribbean."
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this ship had 17 souls onboard. we know from the coast guard that everyone was able to abandon ship. they're on lifeboats. that is good news. because this ship was taking on water. they were not able to move forward because of lost propulsion. at this point we know the coast guard, they're trying to effort a rescue, but they're unable to do so given the conditions of what you see out there. so it's a developing situation that we are monitoring very closely. again, 17 souls who abandoned ship on lifeboats. the coast guard doing their best to get to them, soledad. >> george howell updates what's happening in the outer banks. thank you, george. appreciate it. want to head right down to lower manhattan. probably, what, 60, 70 blocks from where i am right now. john berman is there for us. one of the big concerns is storm surge. they predicted, what? up to 11 feet of storm surge which could be devastating for that area. >> reporter: that's right, soledad. 6 to 11 feet. actually we're getting a real taste of what it might be like tonight at 8:50 p.m. which is high tide.
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we have a high tide actually in about 20 minutes from right now. you can see behind me there's no extra room here. the water is practically up on top of the sea wall already. we've seen some of the actual waves leap over as it is. this is just with moderate surge right now and high tide. by tonight we're expecting a much bigger storm surge. 6 to 11 feet. a full two feet higher than we saw last year during hurricane irene. and during that hurricane we did get some minor flooding down here. there's one expert from columbia university who says one foot more flooding than what we saw in hurricane irene could cause $50 billion in damage. you were talking about it earlier, soledad. the issue is water could flood the subway systems here, get into the electrical grid and just cause mayhem. high tide 8:50 tonight. that might be just when the storm begins there. it is hitting the east coast with its full force. that could be a huge storm surge. soledad? >> john berman for us this morning, thank you, john. appreciate it. right to michael nutter.
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he is the mayor of philadelphia joining us this morning with what they're doing to prepare for this storm. mayor nutter, thank you for being with us. appreciate you joining us. >> good morning, soledad. >> walk me through your biggest concern right now. >> our biggest concern is making sure that our citizens are safe. conditions here are starting to pick up or deteriorate, depending on how you look at it. heavier rain, winds up in the 20-plus mile an hour range already, wind gusts up near 30. the temperature is dropping. our big concern is, of course, flooding in low lying areas. in philadelphia we have a number of neighborhoods that flood -- flood prone under heavy rain as well as our mass transit system shut down pretty much at midnight, 2:00 a.m. this morning. so we're just encouraging folks, shelter in place. if you need to relocate we have three shelters in specific areas of the city.
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big high schools, large capacity to take care of folks and their pets. we just don't want citizens out on the street. all schools are closed. public schools, catholic schools, our charter schools and a bunch of colleges and universities. so this is really about just kind of riding this out, being safe, flashlights, batteries and water supplies, food supplies and just hanging in for a couple days. we're asking citizens to really look out for each other. we got through irene. this will be tougher, but we can get through this also. >> are you finding people are heeding the warnings already, sir? >> yes. we have about 150-plus folks in our shelters. we're getting tweet information @michaelnutter. our 311 system is getting a lot of calls. people asking for information. i think people know we're taking this seriously. president obama signed an emergency declaration. we're working through our state and governor corbett.
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we're constantly pumping out information to folks. people know that this is the real deal. they knew that irene was tough. this is going to be tougher and probably last longer because this is a slow moving storm. so it's just going to expand on the amount of rain and wind and that's a tough combination for us in a big old northeastern city. >> it sure is. mayor michael nutter joins us from philadelphia. thank you, sir, for your time. we certainly appreciate it. let's head to baltimore, shall we? let's chat with stephanie rowelings blake. she's the mayor. we appreciate your time this morning. mayor nutter was telling us he feels that people are heeding the warnings. that even though irene at least where i am was not such a tough storm, there's still really understanding that there's a big difference between what irene brought and what sandy could bring. are you seeing the same thing? >> we are seeing the same thing, soledad. and i feel really bad for you. i wish you were in baltimore. we'd give you a nice covered shot. nice inside shot so you wouldn't be out in the weather. but people are. they are heeding the warning,
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the roads are pretty much clear. and my concern among other things as mayor nutter mentioned is to make sure people aren't driving through standing water. that's a big danger particularly in a city like baltimore. we have the harbor and a lot of communities surrounding the harbor. we just want people to be safe. >> tell me what you're most concerned about. obviously the standing water, as you just mentioned. but is it the power outages that worry you the most? is it the potential for flooding across the city? >> it's more the power outages. and there's so many trees in baltimore in our communities. with the trees coming down, increasing the power outages. and just to make sure the people are prepared in their homes. we've been putting out the message for days to make sure you have your nonperishable foods, your battery operated radios, your flashlights, the things that you need so you can ride out this storm. this is a slow moving storm. i think people forget that we can't start the restorations or bge can't start the restorations until after the storm has moved. so you have to be prepared to
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ride out the storm in place. >> yeah. i think sometimes people forget how long three days is. you know, it's not just a couple of cans of soup. it's a decent amount of water and a decent amount of food. do you feel like you're getting all the assistance from the state and from the feds as well? >> yeah. we have great communications with the federal government, president obama's been fantastic. and governor o'malley. we've got a great communication. we're already sharing not just information but equipment and supplies. we have our propositioned first responders who've been excellent going above and beyond to make sure that we have everyone in place that needs to be. fire, police, everyone. >> baltimore mayor stephanie rawlings-blake joining us this morning. i have a feeling we'll be talking to all the mayors we've been talking to this morning as well as the governors certainly as the storm gets closer and in the aftermath as well. we'll take a short break. when we're back in a moment we'll continue to update you on the progress of hurricane sandy. you're looking at some live pictures of virginia beach,
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virginia, where these are pretty dramatic pictures. it's a voluntary evacuation order there at this point. but they're also telling folks if you wait too long, there's going to come a point where it's just not possible to evacuate anymore. more on this storm straight ahead. dad vo: ok, time for bed, kiddo. lights out. ♪
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welcome back, everybody. you're looking at live pictures from virginia beach, virginia, this morning where there is a voluntary evacuation order in effect. they have warned, officials there have warned if you don't get to it fast enough, there's
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going to be a point where you run out of options and you can no longer evacuate. want to bring in paul frame. he's the norfolk, virginia, mayor. nice to talk to you, sir. thank you for being with us. walk me through what the situation is in norfolk right now. >> well, it's pretty wet as you would expect. look, the biggest concern is the floodwater, you know, the storm has been pounding the coast for so long that it's been pushing water up against the shore. it's now into the rivers. and with each high tide, water builds on the previous tide. and we're going to have a high tide here in about an hour, lasts for a couple of hours here. then we hope that's the worst of it. but this will be the toughest part of the whole storm here, the next couple hours. >> so you'll have a high tide in a couple hours. then 12 hours later you'll have another one, right? that must be the one you're most worried about. >> we're really worried right now about the one coming up. >> really? >> we think it'll start to recede after that. high tide will occur around 9:30. it will be with us for a little
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while. but as it pulls out, that will be the toughest part of our -- of the whole storm. we'll start assessing how much damage there is. >> do you have a mandatory evacuation order in effect or are you just sort of allowing people who voluntarily want to evacuate to evacuate? >> we do not have a mandatory evacuation order. we have gone door to door in the lower lying areas and offered assistance to our residents. you know, this is a coastal city. we've been through some tough storms before. this has not been a major wind event for us. it's really -- it's been rain and floodwater. we've had about 4 1/2 inches of rain. we're looking for another, maybe, 3 inches here. but, again, what it really is, is the low lying areas are getting pounded by water coming into the city. >> some of those are hit already in irene, right? you had problems with storm surge in the wake of hurricane irene? >> that was one of the worst we've had in modern times. and we are almost at that level
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now. but not quite. we'll be a little over seven feet at high tide. 7.2. irene was around 7.5. this is a major event for sure. >> we're taking a look as i mentioned from these pictures of the waves in virginia beach, virginia. are you seeing similar things in norfolk? >> oh, sure. absolutely. we have -- we share a coastline with the beach. they're our sister city. there's an area of norfolk called ocean view taking the same sort of pounding right now. >> i thank you for your time. i know you guys are busy so we appreciate it. we will be watching as you watch with that next high tide which is your most critical high tide. thank you, sir. let's get to richard nabakin with the national hurricane center. he's been watching this storm for us. richard, it was interesting to me to hear he said the high tide that's coming up in norfolk is the most important one for them. many have said they worry about the high tide later tonight which is going to coincide with
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the landfall. >> well, it's all because the surge and the tide maximizing are different depending on exactly where you are. so for points farther north, when the circulation center comes to your south, so if you're in new york city, long island sound, rhode island, connecticut coastline, massachusetts, the maximum surge would be when the circulation center is passing to the south. so the timing of that surge relative to high tide would be a concern late tonight and early tomorrow. but for points farther south like in norfolk, the maximum surge might not occur during that time. so it's very, very location specific, soledad. >> i know that there's been a recent update. anything new? what's the -- how fast is this storm now traveling? >> well, it's moving at a forward speed that's a little bit faster now as it makes this turn to the north-northwest. it's going to be coming ashore, the center, anyway, late
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tonight, we think maybe early tomorrow morning. but then i get really concerned about this. we're expecting it to slow down after landfall. so that means because of the combination of that and the large size, this will be a long duration event for many people along the coast and inland. and a lot of life threatening hazards here. not just the storm surge at the coast and the hurricane force winds at least in gusts near the coast, but then tropical storm force and gail force winds going well inland. and the heavy rainfall and flooding that could subsequently occur. this is going to be a big problem for a lot of folks. whatever you're told to do by your emergency managers, to evacuate or to stay where you are, heed those advice. >> richard knabb is director of the national hurricane service. we've got to take a short break. we continue to monitor what's happening with hurricane sandy as we continue our rolling coverage, special coverage. we're back in just a moment. ♪
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welcome back, everybody. let's start with some live pictures. you're looking at ventnor city in new jersey. if you look at these pictures you can see the casinos in atlantic city are shut down. they are closed down because of the incomie ining storm. i also want to show you asbury park in new jersey as well. this is where rob marciano has been stationed. look at those waves coming in. we're expecting the storm to make landfall sometime tonight, maybe early tomorrow morning. it's expected to hit dead on into new jersey and described as
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in a perpendicular fashion which would, of course, not only blow the waves and wind right on to the coastal areas right there. we're monitoring this for you all morning as we continue to cover hurricane sandy in our special coverage on cnn. short break. we're back in just a moment. isel was founded back in 1894, they've been committed to putting clients first. helping generations through tough times. good times. never taking a bailout. there when you need them. helping millions of americans over the centuries. the strength of a global financial leader. the heart of a one-to-one relationship. together for your future. ♪
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welcome bcome back, everybo. you're watching a special edition of "starting point" as we bring you continued live coverage of hurricane sandy. i'm reporting this morning from right on the side of central park. midtown manhattan in columbus circle. right now we've had intermittent light rain. pretty cold. gusting winds occasionally. it has not gotten so bad in new york city. that is not the same along the eastern seaboard. 375,000 people, though, in expectations of what will happen over the next several hours have now been evacuated from the low lying areas in new york city. trains and buses in new york city have been shout town. also in washington, d.c., and in philadelphia as well, school also. before sandy even comes ashore, 50 million americans are being predicted to suffer more than $3 billion in damage. that's even before this storm has actually made landfall. i want to begin our coverage this morning with our meteorologist rob marciano. he's in asbury park, new jersey, not far from where landfall will
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be sometime late tonight, early tomorrow morning. what we see behind you, what we usually think of when we think of high winds and stormy, heavy rains that come with a hurricane, is that sometime later this afternoon or evening? >> it'll be later this afternoon and tonight. we're already starting to feel tropical storm force gusts for sure. and the rains and winds have increased dramatically just in the past couple of hours. we're on the asbury park boardwalk. an iconic feature. this grandiose structure behind me built in the heyday of the '20s. this surf is certainly busting up the beach right here. already up to the boardwalk is the sea foam. and the stretches of this ocean. which should be another couple of hundred feet -- or yards out this way. but take a look at this foam. this is extraordinary to be this far ahead of this storm system which really has got about 12 hours before it really truly
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makes landfall. to have the water this far up. we do anticipate with a four to eight foot storm surge during the height of the storm that the water will be coming up and over the top of this boardwalk and flooding inland parts of asbury park and coastal communities up and down the jersey shore will be similar sights. that's why this entire area has been evacuated and shelters have been put up for folks who live along the coastal areas. so this will continue to go downhill as far as the weather is concerned. but obviously we have far reaching effects. what is extraordinary with this storm, because it's about 280 miles down that way, that we're already feeling the effects this strong. and in a biting -- i should tell you a very cold wind. this is like no other hurricane that you can experience. that's why we're calling it this hybrid situation. that's why this wind field has become so large and so big and will be affecting so many people as we go through time. an extraordinary event taking
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place here on the jersey shoreline. the rain, by the way, is much heavier just down to my south across the del mar and in through parts of virginia. they've really been getting pounded with not only the surf, but the rainfall. that will begin to increase and spread northward to here and about 40 miles north to the southern tip of manhattan where they'll have their fair share of wind, rain and certainly some storm surge. it could be even worse there and across parts of long island sound. soledad? >> rob, i'm looking at those pictures of the water coming up behind you. you're right. if they're not expecting this thing to hit for another 12 hours and it's already made it that far, that's pretty dire. we'll continue to check in with rob marciano throughout the morning and into the afternoon. the weather picking up a little bit here. a minute ago i said the rain had stopped. it started up again. light rain. very light rain. gusting winds starting again as well. let's get to washington, d.c. the mayor vince gray is there this morning with an update on how things are going there. i know you've declared a state of emergency for washington, d.c., sir. tell me a little bit about your
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biggest concerns this morning. >> well, we have -- very concerned that winds could wreak havoc. of course, potential flooding is associated with this as well. this is -- we're trying to help our people understand this is unlike anything that we've seen before. and we've worked hard to prepare the city and to get our residents to be able to prepare the city. we've closed the schools. we've closed the d.c. government, the federal government has now been closed. and even our metro subway system, which typically is operational, is not operating today. >> usually your city has a number of tourists. what kind of information are you giving them and how are you guiding those folks? i have to imagine many of them have never been in a hurricane before. >> we're getting -- first of all, letting people know what to expect from this storm. i guess i should say the combination of storms.
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secondly, for those people who are in hotels, we're asking them to stay in. do not come outside. because that just -- is just ill-advised. and really giving them the same information that we're giving the residents in the district of columbia. because while we've had the experience of a hurricane here in the city before, we haven't had anything like this before. >> mr. mayor, thank you for joining us this morning with an update on what's happening in washington, d.c. that's d.c. mayor vince gray joining us. thank you. appreciate it. got some pictures to show you. president obama leaving orlando, florida. he's heading back to washington, d.c. he has canceled his event because obviously the inclement weather and concern for folks who are in harm's way with this upcoming storm, incoming storm, has made his team decide that they would not continue their campaigning with the election just about a week and a day away. obviously there are some interest in continuing campaigning. but for today with the storm
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approaching both governor romney and the president are putting -- curtailing those efforts at getting out there and campaigning. want to get to george howell now. george has been coming to us all morning from kill devil hills, which is in the outer banks in north carolina. george, we had some good news which i'd love for you to start with. we've talked about that tall ship and tefhe efforts for thos folks there. tell me a little bit about what their situation is now. >> reporter: soledad, absolutely. we're talking about the replica of the hms bounty. that is a ship that was created for the movie "mutiny on the bounty" and also used in the movie "pirates of the caribbean." 17 souls were onboard that ship. you see what's out there right now with the atlantic. really, really rough situation there. apparently this ship, not sure why it was out there. we do know typically it goes from port to port offering tours. not sure if that is why it was out on the atlantic during the storm. but we know that it started taking on water. and the crew had to abandon
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ship. so the good news as you mentioned, they were able to get on lifeboats. again, lifeboats out there with those waves. so right now the coast guard's doing their best to get to them. given the conditions out there, they're not able to get to them. but we know that they've sent out rescue aircraft, so that's headed that way. and they've been able to make communication with them, regain communication. that is good news. it's something we continue to monitor. but, again, 17 people who are out there on those waves, not a good situation given what you see, soledad. >> terrible situation. george, explain something to me. when you said lifeboats earlier, i was under the impression that they had sort of gotten in lifeboats and were being rescued. but that's not the case. they're now trying to make their way to land. >> reporter: no, no. >> how far are they from you on land? >> reporter: well, here along the outer banks, soledad, we're about 90 miles from where they are now. in relation to the storm itself, they're about 160 miles from the eye of the storm.
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so, you know, think about that. think about what's happening toward the center of that storm. what you see here is rough. i would imagine it's rougher out there. we're keeping a close eye on this. we know they are in the lifeboats. they were able to get off this sailing ship, this sailing vessel that was taking on water. again, that is great news. but being in the lifeboats out there, waiting for the coast guard, waiting for this aircraft, that's what we're keeping an eye on right now, soledad. >> george, final question for you. have the rescuers -- are they now on their way? have they been dispatched? are the planes -- i know the weather's so bad. are the planes up in the sky to try to help these 17 people, who they're trying to make a 90-mile basically row in the middle of the storm? >> reporter: we're keeping very close tabs on the details of this. the latest information we got is that that aircraft is en route. again, that's good news. we know the coast guard was able to make communication with them. so that's good news. they know where they are. again, we're able to give you that specific information. we know where they are in
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relation to us, where they are in relation to the eye of the storm. now it's just a matter of getting them. something we're keeping an eye on. >> george howell updating us this morning on those efforts there as he comes to us from kill devil hills which is in the outer banks where we've seen some very, very tough weather there. thank you, george. obviously george will keep monitoring that situation for those 17 people who are trying to make their way by lifeboat to shore, having abandoned their ship which was taking on water. now they're just going to make a go for it. the good news is, as george pointed out, they are in communication with the coast guard. planes in the air, apparently, being able to help them as well. but that is -- they've got 90 miles to go to get to land. th that is a long, long distance in a lifeboat. zoraida sambolin is updating us on the latest stories making news as well this morning. >> nearly half a million people have been evacuated from homes in low lying areas. this is up and down the east coast. in new york where forecasters say an 11 foot storm surge could
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cause catastrophic damage tonight and into tomorrow, mass transit is shut down along with wall street and all public schools. in new jersey and philadelphia, shelters have been opened and thousands of cots are ready for all evacuees. the uncoming storm also causing airlines to cancel more than 7,000 flights in the northeast. that's triggering delays across the country. with the ripple effect hitting travelers as far away as paris. and nasa has -- nas is a has released its latest time lapse animation of sandy. it's huge, ominous and stunning. a vantage point nearly 22,000 miles above the earth from dawn to dusk yesterday. those are amazing pictures, soledad. >> wow. when that shot first came up, zoraida, i wasn't sure what this was. this is so big in scope, that's what makes it so strange. that is what sandy looks like.
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that 1,000-mile-long swath that is this storm. that is the nasa time lapse photography of how this massive storm really got itself together. wow, that's pretty impressive. >> ominous is a really good word to describe it, wouldn't you say? >> absolutely. 2000. wow. some other shots to show you. thanks, zoraida. let's show folks some pictures from virginia beach, virginia. those are pretty dramatic. as you can see right here, high waves there. and that pier has been overtopped a couple of times by some waves. no surprise there that they have been telling people there to stay in. there is a voluntary evacuation order as well. let's take you to vetnor city now in new jersey. casinos along the strip, this is right by atlantic city, those casinos now shut down. same deal. they're telling folks to stay in as we continue to monitor this storm. we're going to bring you live, continuing special coverage all through the morning into the afternoon, into the evening of hurricane sandy as it is expected to make landfall not
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welcome back, everybody. coming to you live in midtown manhattan in columbus circle right behind me is central park. in new york city we've had a light rain and gusting winds. not as bad as some of the things we've shown you up and down the east coast. let's get to john berman who's in downtown in manhattan in battery park city. john, what are you seeing? >> it's not so much what i'm seeing. it's what i'm standing in, soledad. i'm standing in water. it started to flood here. water has come up over the seawall behind me here. it started to leak into battery park and flooded the area.
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you can see why. they're concerned about this storm surge. 6 to 11 feet high. when it gets really bad tonight at high tide, it's high tide right now this morning in new york which is why i think we're seeing the water come up over these walls here. the storm surge already starting to affect the city as this massive storm pushes in from the east coast. but, again, just in the last ten minutes here the water started lapping up. now i'm standing in four inches of water here. you can tell what has mayor michael bloomberg so concerned. he's ordered mandatory evacuations for about 370,000 people from lower manhattan. also from the other boroughs here. there's some 76 shelters set up around the city for people to go to. they want people to get to them if they need to be there. of course, school is shut down. the subways completely shut down. this is not the massive wind blown waves you're seeing up and down the east coast. this is a slow creep. you can see some white caps behind me. the water doesn't look that rough. it will be a slow creep, particularly as you get into the
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evening with the water rising higher and higher. again, things really amazing here. we're standing in four inches of water. >> when you consider that we could be 12 hours away, john, from the actual onslaught of this hurricane, at the same time when there'll be another high tide, that is really, really a bad scenario. thank you for that update. we certainly appreciate it. john berman, he's in the evacuation zone in battery park city. that was flooded in hurricane irene as well. we are certainly expecting this to be significantly worse than hurricane irene. we're going to take a short break. when we come back we'll talk about efforts by the coast guard. they've now shut down the harbor in new york. we obviously can talk about some of the rescue efforts under way as well. got to take a short break. we're back in just a moment. [ male announcer ] citi turns 200 this year.
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welcome back, everybody. we're coming to you live in midtown, manhattan. we're in columbus circle very close to central park. one of the big concerns here in new york city is flooding. you saw john berman in lower manhattan in that evacuation zone. standing already in some water that's been coming in. we're probably 12 hours away from the storm hitting, plus or minus a few hours. another big concern is power outages. already there are some. just under 20,000 power outages across six northeastern states to report. we're expecting that number to go much higher. some predictions have said 10 million people could be without power along the east coast once hurricane sandy has done her damage. we've got lots to talk to you this morning as well about what's happening on the
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waterways. rear admiral dan abel, thank you for being with us. tell me a little bit about what you're doing. i know the waterways, new york harbor has been closed. is that correct? >> soledad, yes, it has. but, you know, your coast guard has been working this case, getting ready for this beast. we started middle of last week. you know, the extent of the storm, we're talking, you know, hurricane force winds from chatham, massachusetts, to virginia. we're telling folks here it's going to have the seas of a nor'easter and the winds of a hurricane. so this thing is huge. we've started offshore. that was done many days ago. we had a couple hundred fishing boats, commercial fishing boats out there between the airplanes warning them to seek safe haven and cutters that actually shepherded them in, we have that taken care of. coastalwise, i think we're good. we're telling folks to batten down. if you haven't secured your boat, it's probably too late. time to get ashore and seek safe haven. and like you mentioned in the harbors, progressively as we
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work from south to north we're going to start putting restrictions in and eventually closing those ports when we have to. gosh, as soon as we can we're going to get them reopened because commerce has to move. >> are you finding people are listening? are you finding that there are some crazy people out there who are out in their vehicle, their fishing craft or something and just not paying attention to some of these warnings that seem very dire to me? >> you know, the coast guard here in the northeast, we normally work about 20 search and rescue cases a day. but when you add those types of things, and we've seen good and bad. we've been doing -- over the weekend we rescued some surfers off of new jersey, kayakers, quite frankly we had a case with a guy in a dinghy who rode out to get his boat. no life jacket. clinging on to a buoy and calling the coast guard on a cell phone. those are the type cases we're working. >> my goodness. that sounds like a terrible thing you never want to have to ever experience. rear admiral dan abel joining us
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this morn ing. first coast guard district commander. thank you, sir. i'm sure we'll be checking in with you as this storm actually hits land to see exactly how these waterways are not only fairing, and then eventually recovering as well. we appreciate your time this morning. we've got to take a short break. we continue our rolling live coverage of preparations for hurricane sandy making its way onshore. back in just a moment. [ female announcer ] ready for a taste of what's hot? check out the latest collection of snacks from lean cuisine. creamy spinach artichoke dip, crispy garlic chicken spring rolls. they're this season's must-have accessory. lean cuisine. be culinary chic.
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i'm a robot. i know. i know you're a robot! but there's more in you than just circuits and wires! uhhh. (cries) a machine can't give you what a person can. that's why ally has knowledgeable people there for you, night and day. ally bank. your money needs an ally. before we hand our coverage off to carol kos tole lcostello john berman already in some of that small flooding happening in the evacuation areas downtown. that's a big concern. look over here.
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